Broadcast TV Ad Revenues Down 12.8% in Q209

September 11, 2009

This article is included in these additional categories:

Broadcast & Cable | Media & Entertainment | Television | TV Advertising

Total broadcast television ad revenues were down 12.8% in the second quarter of 2009, compared with the same period in 2008, according to a Television Bureau of Advertising (TVB) analysis of estimates supplied by TNS Media Intelligence/CMR.

Network TV was down 6.9% in Q209, syndicated TV was down 1.5%, and local broadcast TV was down 26.3%, amounting to the total 12.8% decline, TVB said.


For the first half of 2009, network TV was down 5.8%, syndicated TV was down 0.7%, and local broadcast TV was down 27.0%, producing a total broadcast TV decline of 12.3%.

The top-25 advertising categories for local broadcast television reflected the general decline in Q2: All but one – Legal Services – spent less than in the same quarter a year ago.

Changes in the the top-10 categories:

  • #1 Automotive was down 54.5%
  • #2 Communications/Telecommunications was down 7.9%
  • #3 Restaurants was down 16.2%
  • #4 Travel, Hotels & Resorts was down 14.7%
  • #5 Car & Truck Dealers was down 43.2%
  • #6 Furniture Stores was down 23.1%
  • #7 Insurance was down 19.0%
  • #8 Legal Services (the only category in the top 25 to post a gain) was up 1.6%
  • #9 Schools, Colleges & Camps was down 7.3%
  • #10 Government & Organizations was down 7.5%

Among local broadcast TV’s top 25 individual advertisers, four posted increases, Verizon and Time Warner Cable were the only two in the top 10:

  • #1 Verizon Communications was up 3.5%
  • #2 Honda Motor Co Ltd. was down 16.5%
  • #3 Comcast Corp. was down 11.3%
  • #4 AT&T was down 33.2%
  • #5 Ford Motor Co. Dealers Association was down 43.8%
  • #6 Toyota Motor Corp Dealers Association was down 50.2%
  • #7 General Mills was down 6.1%
  • #8 McDonalds was down 11.7%
  • #9 Time Warner Cable was up 32.3%
  • #10 Chrysler Group LLC was down 73.8%

Though the floundering economy is likely responsible for much of the decline in broadcast TV ad spend this year, significant shifts are poised to take place in the TV market overall, including a preference for time-shifting and TV viewing on alternative devices.

Watching TV on an actual TV set is still preferred by most of the TV-watching audience and Nielsen reported that amount of TV watched is still growing, but other research from The Conference Board found that one in four US households watches online TV, and a separate study by Knowledge Networks found that two-thirds of Americans now use portable, video-enabled gadgets.

Moreover, Ipsos reported that digital video providers are testing out different revenue models in response to the growing number of Americans who want to watch TV on their computers and portable devices as an alternative to, or as a supplement to, TV programming on television sets.


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